May 7 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Updated 10:35 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020
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9:15 p.m. ET, May 6, 2020

Don't expect a Covid-19 vaccine until next spring, lead researcher says

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

Dr. Mark Mulligan.
Dr. Mark Mulligan. CNN

The lead researcher overseeing a clinical vaccine trial for the novel coronavirus said scientists won’t know definitively if any of the vaccines work to prevent infection until April or May of next year.

Dr. Mark Mulligan said on CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront that a one-year time frame is a “blazing process” for vaccine development.

“We’re doing things in months that normally would be done in years,” Mulligan said.

Mulligan is the director of the Vaccine Center at NYU’s Langone Health and is working with Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE on the trial.

NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the University of Maryland were the first centers to enroll patients in a vaccine trial for the novel coronavirus. Study participants got the vaccine this week. Pfizer and BioNTech launched a similar trial in Germany. 

The first phrase of the trial will determine if it is safe. That typically takes three to four months, Mulligan said.

“That’s actually the most important first question and then we want to know if it’s tolerated well and if it produces an antibody response that might be protective after those first three or four months,” Mulligan said.
“You go onto the question does it protect, and that’ll take several months as well,” he added. “I do really think we’re talking about getting through to the end of the year and into early next year before we would have a definitive answer.”

Watch here:

8:43 p.m. ET, May 6, 2020

UK government to scrap stay-at-home message as it plans to ease coronavirus restrictions

From CNN's Milena Veselinovic

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions, his first since recovering from Covid-19, at the House of Commons on May 6, 2020 in London.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions, his first since recovering from Covid-19, at the House of Commons on May 6, 2020 in London. Hollie Adams/Getty Images

The UK government will scrap its stay-at-home advice as part of the plan to gradually ease coronavirus restrictions, UK media reported on Wednesday evening.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs earlier in the day that he will be lifting some restrictive measures starting next Monday, and will officially announce the details on Sunday.

Johnson will expand the once-a-day limit on exercise to allow "unlimited" exercise either individually or with members of the same household, The Telegraph reported. 

He will also encourage people to go back to work if they can do it safely, and in a divergence to the strategy pursued by the government so far, he will tell those using public transport to use face-coverings where social distancing is not possible, according to The Telegraph. The Scottish government has already recommended use of face coverings in crowded spaces. 

Schools could start a "phased" return of pupils at the beginning of June, but restaurants, bars and cafes have not been given a firm date for reopening, The Telegraph reported. 

8:23 p.m. ET, May 6, 2020

Brazil sees a spike in coronavirus cases 

From CNN's Shasta Darlington in Sao Paulo and Mitch McCluskey in Atlan

Brazil recorded at least 10,503 new cases of coronavirus and 615 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to the country's health minister.

At least 125,218 cases and 8,536 deaths have been reported in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Brazil currently has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Latin America while Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has faced criticism for downplaying the threat of the virus.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly attended large political rallies calling for an end to quarantine measures in the country.

8:53 p.m. ET, May 6, 2020

Spokesman for Brazilian president tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Shasta Darlington in Sao Paulo and Flora Charner in Atlanta

Brazilian presidency spokesman Otavio Rêgo Barros speaks at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on April 11, 2019. 
Brazilian presidency spokesman Otavio Rêgo Barros speaks at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on April 11, 2019.  Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s official spokesman, Gen. Otávio Santana do Rêgo Barros, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a statement released by his office.

Rêgo Barros tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday, according to the statement. His team said the results were confirmed Tuesday and that he is recovering in his home.

According to the statement, he wasn’t displaying “any symptoms that should raise any concern.”

8:26 p.m. ET, May 6, 2020

Researchers report "unprecedented cluster" of inflammatory problems in children amid pandemic

From CNN’s Arman Azad

Researchers in the UK say they have seen an “unprecedented cluster” of eight children with rare inflammatory problems amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The cases, they said, bear resemblance to a severe form of Kawasaki disease -- a rare condition that causes inflammation in the walls of the arteries and can limit blood flow to the heart.

All of the children were previously fit and well, the researchers said in a study published Wednesday. 

Five of the children received mechanical ventilation through a tube in their windpipes, and one was put on an ECMO machine -- a device that takes over for the heart and lungs.

Seven of the children survived, and one died from a stroke. Four of the children had known exposure to coronavirus, and two eventually tested positive. Six of the children were of Afro-Caribbean descent, and five were boys.

In the study, published in the medical journal The Lancet, the researchers said the case cluster formed the basis of a national alert. In late April, Britain’s National Health Service sent an “urgent alert” to doctors saying they had seen cases of atypical Kawasaki disease that could be linked to coronavirus.

As their study went to press, the researchers said they had treated more than 20 children with similar signs. The first 10 of these children tested positive for coronavirus antibodies – including the eight who made up the original “cluster” of cases. That suggests they had been exposed to the virus in the past, even if their diagnostic test came back negative at the time.

“We suggest that this clinical picture represents a new phenomenon affecting previously asymptomatic children with SARS-CoV-2 infection manifesting as a hyperinflammatory syndrome with multiorgan involvement similar to Kawasaki disease shock syndrome,” the researchers wrote. 
9:25 p.m. ET, May 6, 2020

Trump says China could have stopped pandemic after initially praising their efforts

From CNN's Samantha Beech in Atlanta

US President Donald Trump talks to reporters after signing a proclamation honoring National Nurses Day in the Oval Office at the White House on Wednesday.
US President Donald Trump talks to reporters after signing a proclamation honoring National Nurses Day in the Oval Office at the White House on Wednesday.  Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images

US President Donald Trump has again leveled accusations that China could have stopped the global coronavirus pandemic, calling the spread "the worst attack we've ever had on our country."

Speaking from the Oval Office today, the President went on to say, "This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center."

What we know: So far, more than 73,000 people in America have died from coronavirus. In comparison, more than 2,000 Americans were killed in the Pearl Harbor bombings during World War II. On September 11, 2001, a total of 2,977 people were killed in New York City, Washington, DC and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

But while Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were direct and targeted attacks on the United States, the coronavirus pandemic is impacting countries all over the world, including China. As of today, Johns Hopkins University puts China's death toll from the virus at 4,637.

There's never been an attack like this," Trump said today in the Oval Office.
The President added: "And it should have never happened. Could have been stopped at the source. Could have been stopped in China. It should have been stopped right at the source. And it wasn't."

In recent days, Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have doubled down on the assertion that the virus originated from a laboratory in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak was first detected last December.

The claim has unsurprisingly drawn fierce rebuttal from the Chinese government, which described the accusation as a "smear" intended to bolster Trump's reelection chances.

Watch here:

8:43 p.m. ET, May 6, 2020

The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care continues a steady decline in France

From Eva Tapiero in Paris

Medical workers tend to a coronavirus patient at Lariboisiere Hospital in Paris, France, on April 27.
Medical workers tend to a coronavirus patient at Lariboisiere Hospital in Paris, France, on April 27. Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units in France has continued to steadily decline since April 9, data from the French health ministry shows.

There are currently 3,147 Covid-19 patients in ICU in France, down by 283 from the day before, the ministry said on Wednesday.

A total of 23,983 people are hospitalized with coronavirus in France, which is down by 792 from the day before.